How to Prepare Stevia

Overview

The plant Stevia rebaudiana has an amazing ability. When properly prepared, it is an all-natural sweetener that is a viable alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Its sweetness is concentrated. The European Stevia Association estimates its sweetness as being somewhere between 18 and 45 times the sweetness of sugar, varying depending on what is extracted from the leaves. It also has no calories, carbs, sugar, fat or cholesterol, and is suitable for diabetics. If you get hold of some stevia leaves, it is not difficult to make a stevia extract.

Step 1

Place the stevia leaves in the bottom of one of the large containers.

Step 2

Pour 190-proof alcohol over the leaves so that they are completely covered. Reserve any remaining Everclear for your next batch of stevia extract.

Step 3

Cover the container and wait at least 24 hours. This will give the alcohol time to extract the glycosides from the leaves. Glycosides are what make the plant taste so sweet.

Step 4

Strain the stevia/alcohol mixture through either a coffee filter or a cheesecloth-lined colander. This will remove the stevia leaves and associated debris, leaving behind only the stevia extract.

Step 5

Use immediately or store, covered. Since the extract contains such a large degree of alcohol, it is not necessary to refrigerate it.

Things You'll Need

  • 190-proof alcohol
  • 2 large covered containers
  • Coffee filter
  • Heavy saucepan

References

  • European Stevia Association: FAQ
  • Healthy Lifestyle Publishing: Stevia FAQs
Keywords: preparing stevia, making stevia extract, making stevia extract with alcohol

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication CarEnvy.ca. Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.